Every child has owned a LEGO brick set at one time of their lives. Who wouldn’t be interested in robotics? Now let’s put the two together, LEGO and Robotics. What do we get? A LEGO robot!!! We thought you could only make airplanes and animals with LEGO. A lover of both LEGO and robotics, Diavo Voltaggio has built himself a robot arm using LEGO Mindstorms, which is a software and hardware kit.
It isn’t the first robotic arm made out of LEGO but this particular one can be worn and controlled by the user. LEGO Mindstorms is used for DIY (do it yourself) robots and makes this robotic arm pretty straightforward and easy to operate. It has four buttons connected to four motors that control each finger. Pressing a button flexes the corresponding finger, while releasing the same button relaxes the finger as well. The creator, Voltaggio calls this cyborg limb the Mark VI because he’s made 6 of these robot arms altogether. He has disassembled the first five so that he could learn from them and make the following better. As a result this model is much sturdier than the previous arms but it is also much heavier. It doesn’t seem like it’s going to be helping any amputees any time soon but you have to admit it’s an absolutely cool concept. The Mark VI has won Best Mindstorms creation at a recent BrickFair LEGO convention where Voltaggio demonstrated what it can do by shaking hands with the people who were attending the function.
The robotic arm features LED lights and a mount for placing a phone in the arm for quick access. The arms get heavy due to the four motors and a built-in battery. The batteries do need to be changed every hour or so if it’s in constant use.
Technically you could build one yourself with the right kit, but we imagine it’s a lot harder than it looks. Voltaggio hasn’t written down any instructions yet either, though he has offered a few design basics in an interview.